Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

1. A smile is _one way I take a second to connect with my children each and every day_.
2. _Labyrinth_ is my favorite board or card game.
3. I would love to have more __of my husband_ in my life (if his job wasn't so demanding) and less _(hmmm can't think of anything, I usually get rid of things I don't like)_.
4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of _Sun tea, cooking in the solar oven, a day spent enjoying the sun_.
5. I just remembered I need to ____(nothing)______.
6. One of my favorite song lyrics goes like this: _____You are my sunshine...._____.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to __gardening with Jackson and then jumping in the pool to swim with the family for a couple of hours topped off by a soak in the hot tub...ahhhh...___, tomorrow my plans include __more gardening___ and Sunday, I want to __see Get Smart with friends___!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun in the Sun

OK the blog talkers question for this week is: "Do you tan? If so, how many hours a week do you tan? If you don’t tan, why not? Do you tan easily? Do you burn easily? Tell us about the worst burn you’ve ever had. How many hours, in the summer, would you say you spend in the sun? What sort of sunscreen do you use?"

My answer goes deep in my heart. The short answer is I never used to tan at all as a child, just burn and it would go away, now as I age I am finding that I tan more, still burn easily though. I do not ever intentionally tan. I stay covered with my large, geeky looking, sun hat and shirt and pants when I am working in my garden. I avoid going out at peek sun times during the day and when I do go out at the beach or to the pool I use the highest sub block I can find, yes I am the pasty looking 42 year old you see at the pool who reapplies sun screen every couple of hours. That is me. I do love the beach, and the warmth of the sun. But am well protected, as best I can.

The long answer. Growing up as a child in Maine my grandmother worked outside much of her life. Farming, gardening...working. She NEVER laid out in the sun like women do today, but worked outside. She found, mid-life somewhere, that she had spots on her face. Had them checked out and sure enough they were skin cancer. I remember her having regular visits (like every 6 months) with her oncologist and dermatologist. They would check her over and cut away any early signs of skin cancer. She had treatments, which I don't remember. But I do remember her coming home from appointments with scabs on her face from the removal, and have special creams she had to apply etc. From then on you would never see her out in the sun without the full, geeky looking, cover. Big floppy hat, long sleeves and pants. Covered from head to toe. She would try to talk to my cousins about skin cancer. You could see them lying outside in their bathing suits, back in the day where you would put mineral oil or baby oil on your body to increase the sun damage, improve your tan.

Me I have never liked sun bathing. I was too antsy, I couldn't sit still long enough, 5 minutes and I had to do something else. So for me it was really easy to listen to my grandmother and heed her words. I had no interest in tanning anyway.

So that is the long answer. My grandmother has since crossed over, lived a very long life. With at least one lasting impression on my life.

Thanks Gram

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Creative Endeavors

My boys are so wonderfully creative. I am sure all parents say that, but I want to publicly say what special, unique individuals they truly are. Phillip bought some hematite chunks, magnetic. He has had them for several years and keeps them in the pocket in front of his seat in the car. This past week he bought some more. He adores these magnets, LOL. And on the ride home from our vacation he was manipulating the magnets and playing around. We were all in stitches, so creative and wonderful and joyful. A lovely day and even lovelier because we were together enjoying what many would consider an insanely long, boring ride across the country. I know so many who would think us crazy and say "how could you possibly want to be stuck in a car for days with your children". BECAUSE I LIKE THEM. I truly like my boys. It is such fun to be around them, I am so blessed to have the time to spend with them, grateful for deciding to spend so much with the people I love. Here are a few pictures of Phil, maybe they will make you smile as well.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Attitude of Gratitude Attitude of Gratitude

OK I am sitting here at my computer typing and there by the monitor sits a doll I bought from a friend. She is so talented and this doll is so special. I know she made it with lots of love and good intentions all wrapped up in there. She is very beautiful, the face...just perfect, the hair wild and wonderful and her flower petal dress, just a blessing to look at. I keep her here at my computer to remind me of all the blessings in my life. So when I am having a blah day, when I just don't feel up beat or perky, there she sits, a cheerful light in the day, a pick-me-up. She doesn't have a name, but I am sure one will come to me when it is right. If you love her as much as I do you can find out more about these dolls here, and there is a link to this person's etsy page as well.


After our wonderful trip to South Dakota, the first for Dallen and Phillip, we have decided that we will go back in the near future, and really spend some time exploring. There are so many places to visit, so many trails to explore. Maybe camp, maybe not, we will see. Just a beautiful and fascinating area of the country.

Transitioning home can be a challenge. It takes the boys time to settle back into home, out of the day to day change of routine that being on the road brings, with something new and exciting every day, a new adventure, a drive somewhere. We don't have a "routine" here at home, other than the routing they choose to create from day to day. Some things can be counted on, Mom will not be out of the house when the boys wake up, for example. But transitioning back into this non-routine of ours can he a challenge, and we try to be extra gentle with each other as we make this adjustment. I know Phillip will need more of me, while Dallen will need less, I need to be present to help them communicate effectively with each for a few days etc. But this time it has seemed easier. Maybe it is that they are getting older, maybe as we all mature in our relationships we have come to know what each other needs in the transition period, maybe it is summer and we have more space to just be, maybe it is a combination of all of those and more. But this time it has seemed almost easy. A true blessing of growth.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Trip Home

We had a wonderful drive home, took a two day detour in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Snow was falling in the Rocky Mountains. You probably can't tell from the picture but there is snow. We stopped in the Rockies at several points to just take in the scenery. It was beautiful. Then on down to South Dakota. The trip back through customs and immigration was uneventful this time.

We stopped in Custer SD, which is such a cute town and so close to all the attractions. Crazy Horse was my favorite stop on this trip. We also took in Mt Rushmore, the Black Hills and the Badlands. So wonderful. Such a lovely trip, we will definitely be going back to the Black Hills again to spend more time, maybe do some camping.
But now we are home again, the garden needs tending, started yesterday and have about 1/4 of it weeded. Will work this weekend to finish that up for now. Have laundry to do and time to get all caught up on everyday things.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More From Our Trip Up North

Monday morning we left Lethbridge, AB and headed north, through Calgary and into some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen, the Canadian Rockies. Snow capped peaks with valleys of green and flowers starting to bloom. Wildlife everywhere, we saw deer, moose, bear, and elk to name a few. We really enjoyed this trip and thought, some year, it might be cool to fly in and rent an RV and take some time to really explore the mountains. Stopped in Jasper for gas and food, and then on our way out of the mountains and toward Prince George and onto Burns Lake.
We thought we might make it in time to catch the last ferry to Southbank, it departed at 11:00, but no such luck, so we bedded down in a small inn we found in the town of Burns Lake. I was actually a little surprised at how large Burns Lake was. Being so far north and with not many towns around I was expecting something smaller.

In the light of day we had some breakfast, stopped at a grocery store, and headed for the ferry. A quick 10 minute ferry ride and we were on the other side of the lake at Southbank, BC. Lovely country, grassy fields with cattle, mountains in the background, on a beautiful lake. We had to travel down a dirt road to make it to our friends house, but even that dirt road was very well maintained, better than the ones I remember growing up in rural Maine. Such a treat to drive down their driveway on Tuesday morning (well closer to noon) and see their daughter Ann Sophie running to greet us.
I am uploading all my photos to my flickr account and you can see the link to that to the right.

Attitude of Gratitude

I am just so grateful for friends. Spending time with our friends in Canada just re affirmed my faith in friendship. That even when distances separate you, visiting friends is like coming home again, no awkwardness, no hesitation, just back where you belong...together.

Ahhhh friendship.

Attitude of Gratitude

More Catching Up

Sunday we headed out from North Dakota. I have never been to this part of the country before.
Jackson is from South Dakota so he has traveled some out here. Very beautiful. Lots of open land. I have always been an ocean lover, not just water...but the ocean. It is just so freeing, so open with nothing visible on the other side, just watching the waves. Well the open-ness of the prairie seems like that as well, just very relaxing and nice.

we saw lots of :

And saw the deer and antelope playing. We arrived in Havre, Montana pretty early, I think it
was around 8:30. Not enough time to make the boarder crossing by 9:00. (This particular crossing was open until 5:00 that day then open again for one hour from 8:00-9:00.) So we headed west to Shelby, Montana and up 15 to the boarder. Now this was interesting. We handed over our passports and went through the normal questions..."why are you crossing into Canada?" "Are you carrying any agricultural products?" etc. we have heard it many times before, nothing unusual so far. Then came the not-so-usual 20 questions..."Are these children yours?" "together?" "Have you ever crossed any other boarders before?" "With your children?" "Have you ever been denied entry before?" OK this was getting a little creepy. I started thinking he might not let us into Canada to visit our friends.

He then directed us to park in the parking lot and come inside. So we did as we were told, he still had our passports. And we sat in a room full of chairs and empty desks (it was around midnight by now) with only one other person. He proceeded to type away at his computer and look over at us every few seconds. Then asked a few more questions, and said it just seemed suspicious that we would drive all this way to see friends. I felt a little sorry for the guy, and wanted to ask if he had any friends that would drive across the country for him. But decided I should just sit there and keep quiet, I mean after all we did want to cross, LOL.

Finally, after all that typing, I think he could find no reason to keep us out, and we were on our way. We made it again, over 1000 miles that day and spent the night in Lethbridge, Alberta. I small city with, we found out in the morning, some beautiful scenery. And just outside Lethbridge, a place called Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. Of course we didn't know what this was and I am only finding out now that it is a National Heritage Site. Check out the link to find out more, I know you want to.

Catching Up

OK I am going to try to catch up. After my last blog entry I have not had any Internet connection. I want to write about the trip a bit because it has been fabulous. The next night we stayed just outside of Fargo ND (Saturday night) after passing through Chicago, I have never seen Chicago, just passed through, changing planes.

The boys have done so well traveling. They love traveling, but being in a car (granted a large SUV) for days on end just driving can be a challenge. We have pre-planned as much as possible, packing games, movies, DVD players, DS games and players, snacks, drinks, books, doodle pads etc. And we have talked about this trip for a while now, just so we are all prepared. We do want to see our friends so for us it is worth it. But the boys have done better than I could have ever expected. Playing alone on a handheld game system or watching a movie at times, other times talking about games or drawing together. So nice to see.

We logged in over 800 miles this day, whew.